Friday, May 08, 2009

What Not To Get A Teacher

This week was "Teacher Appreciation Week."

Some administrator-or-other gave candy to the teachers at Ryan's school. It would've been nice if, instead of candy, they had appreciated the teachers by giving them a) a raise, b) a union, and c) bullwhips, but whatever. At least it was something - three pieces of candy.

His kids stole it off his desk.

That pretty much sums up his education experience right there.

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I would like to review some things NOT to give a teacher as gifts.

1. Anything with apples on it. Do you have any idea how much apple-themed crap a teacher collects over the years? I think this is a much worse plague at the elementary level, where your kid only has one teacher so you may feel compelled to give gifts throughout the year. Seriously, leave the be-appled knicknacks, notepads, hats, coffee mugs, plush items, and pencils at home.

2. Anything you got as a gift but didn't want. This includes but is not limited to: coffee mugs; coffee mugs with candy in them; coffee mugs with stuffed animals in them; stinky perfume, bath soap, or lotion; an eye-poppingly bad blouse in size 3XL; novelty socks (and for God's sake don't wear them first); and my personal favorite, a bottle of shampoo you used half of but "just didn't care for."

3. Coffee mugs. Teachers are already pretty adept at getting their hot drinks into their mouths. Please stop with the coffee mugs.

4. Calendars - wall, desk, or otherwise. They did have to graduate from college, so most teachers can figure out what day it is without 35 calendars to remind them.

5. Animals - live, stuffed, or otherwise. And if it's something you caught in the woods behind your house, please don't even bring it to school.

Some Things That Teachers Might Actually Like:

1. Coffee gift cards - even if they don't drink coffee, they can enjoy hot chocolate, a smoothie, or tea. Nothing says "thanks for putting up with my child for more hours in the day than I can stand to be around him" like a free beverage.

2. Bookstore gift cards - so they can read something that doesn't have "TEACHER'S EDITION" on it, or isn't so grammatically incorrect they want to poke their eyes out.

3. Supplies for their classroom - ask the teacher what they need. Things like art supplies, toilet paper, and paper towels are in short supply at a lot of schools. Stock the cupboard. Assuming the kids won't immediately steal it all, of course.

4. Cheesecake. Unless they're lactose-intolerant, of course.

5. This gift guide is not so bad, except for the apple earrings. The necklace is actually kind of cute. I am usually lukewarm on these kinds of "guides" (an $80 robe? $120 baby romper? Really?), but some of the suggestions on there are pretty cool, useful, and affordable, like the alphabet print or the personalized note cards. The copper hand bell, not so much.

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